Wednesday, March 26, 2008

When does hockey become a story in New York?

I come here today after a week on the road NOT to complain about the lack of coverage of the New York Islanders.

Instead, I'm wondering what's going on with the coverage of the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils.

The Islanders are out of the playoff hunt, and the pain is excruciating. When I walked out of the old barn on the night of the Core of the Four game - the night Craig Anderson became Ken Dryden - it hurt worse than any loss in years.

But back to our metro area rivals. Someone please tell me: when exactly is the rest of the local media going to decide "Okay, now it's time to start talking hockey"?

Do the Rangers have to win a playoff round? Do Brent's boys have to make it to the Stanley Cup Final?

I mean, it really wasn't that long ago when a Rangers weeknight game in February got the backpage of the Post and/or the Daily News. It wasn't that long ago when the New York Times would pick up the story of Marty and the Devils, you know, at least a couple of months before they raised the Cup.

What is going on here?

Are we (meaning Those In Hockey) still paying the price for the lockout? Or is that just some sort of lame excuse baseball-obsessed sports editors use?

Are we paying the price for not being on ESPN? If that's the case, shame on the editors and producers for allowing Bristol, Connecticut to dictate what's important in sports and what isn't. (This just in: the Times has assigned Dave Caldwell to the "Dancing with the Stars" beat).

I'd sure like to think I missed it, but when was the last time WFAN or 1050 ESPN had a hockey guest on one of their shows? Remember when "Mike and the Mad Dog" used to have Bill Clement on regularly? Forgive me for being nostalgic for the days of the early 2000s.

Over the last couple of months, I've read a few of these hot business books that talk about stuff like "The New Marketing" and "The New Rules of PR" and how blogging can help your business. The message of most of these books is how businesses should take their story straight to the customer and not worry about cutting out the middle - advertising outlets and the traditional media. Countless businesses have had incredible success this way. No one in sports has tried it yet.

To be clear, I'm not advocating the Islanders go this route:

Greg Logan: "Hey Chris, I hear you emailed an Islanders Insider to your database late last night that you signed that hotshot dman out of college"?

CB: "Uh...yep."

Greg: "Is that something you were ever gonna share with me and the rest of the press"?

CB: "Uh...I don't know how to break this to you, Greg. But I think you should sign up for the Islanders Insider and Islanders TV. Or read about it in the NYI Blox Box. Or check out Islandermania."

No really, I'm not advocating this at all. The traditional media is still vital to us. But the lack of any sustained buzz about the two area teams going to the dance makes you wonder.

It almost makes anyone like me who cares about hockey want to root for the Rangers and Devils in the playoffs. Almost.


LGS said...

Chris, we're Islander fans from Bristol, CT and we've called ESPN by a name that truly reflects it's content for years: ESPN-BA!

From your friends at

Anonymous said...


MN said...

Chris -

Always enjoy your blog and point of view and couldn't agree with you more on the dearth of hockey coverage in the media. However, I was disappointed last Sunday in the Islanders response, or lack of response, to Greg Logan's piece on Ted Nolan's contract.

It's been another tough season for us die-hard fans, and the last thing we needed to read about was a possible future disappoint in one of the few things this organization has going for it: Ted Nolan.

Now, maybe Logan was just trying to create a story, but the Isles management didn't diffuse the situation with "the organization has no comment on contract issues involving management." In fact, just the opposite.

Anyone who follows the message board knows how popular Ted Nolan is, and I think it would have at least tempered the situation if the Islanders had provided some comment to the effect of: "While we don't comment on management contract, Ted Nolan is our coach, is highly respected within our organization and we anticipate him being on Long Island for many years to come."

We die-hards have been through enough nonsense the past 15 years that we are sensitive to anything that appears will make us a laughingstock: See Fishsticks, Spano, ScoreBoard-Gate, Milstein, SMG, aborted trade of Ziggy to the Rangers, Neil Smith's, not to mention 15 years without a playoff series victory.

Any additional, hopefully positive information regarding Ted's situation would be appreciated.


Marc N. from Deer Park

michael said...

its never ok to root for the rangers..

Anonymous said...

When does hockey become a story in NY ??? When Sean Avery visits a prostitute..... shame on you Sean and NY papers